WOR - Dave notes that while AEW is on a hot streak their payroll costs have increased tremendously while their TV rights revenue is similar to the extended deal signed in May of this year. More notes on talent in the text post.

WOR - Dave notes that while AEW is on a hot streak their payroll costs have increased tremendously while their TV rights revenue is similar to the extended deal signed in May of this year. More notes on talent in the text post.


**We're looking for new moderators! To apply, [please head to this post](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/pbje6w/we_need_some_fresh_faces_learn_how_to_apply_to/)** Help make SquaredCircle safer and more inclusive by using the report button to flag posts and comments for moderator review. If you need to contact a moderator, [you can message us here](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=/r/SquaredCircle) *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/SquaredCircle) if you have any questions or concerns.*


> In relation to the comments by Brian Cage, Dave says everyone at the mid-level and up thinks they belong in the main event. This was foreseeable. I doubt Cage is the only one who's unhappy about his position, but realistically, the main event scene is stacked enough as is.


Who else do you think is? Maybe Sky?


Sky, maybe Hager? Could also see Andrade falling into it if he ends up on the lower tier after his welcome push.


I think Hager is being booked perfectly fine and so is sky. Both of them are charisma vacuums. Even Ethan easily overshadowed him. AEW needs to go all in on Andrade though. Could see him as the tnt champ very soon.


Andrade's a bit weird. Like, they seem high on him, but they haven't really let him wrestle much yet, and the champs are all heels, with a face champ seeming far away. He could end up slipping down if things stay the same.


andrade just turned on Chavo for cheating for him so a face turn wouldnt be far fetched, also if that dont happen then eddie kingston could win the TNT title


Ric as Andrade's new babyface manager, WOOOO!!!!


Not all the champs are heels after All Out. Lucha Bros just won the belts


Well, the ones he's likely to chase.




I think they're trying to figure out where to slot him in a currently heel heavy environment. They may want to pair him with Flair but they need to wait to see how people react to the Dark Side of the Ring episode first and take it from there.


Hager is lucky to have a job. It's like we collectively forgot that 2010 happened. This dude has already been a main eventer and ultra mega sucked at it. And it's not like he has improved since.


Hager’s not even on the show that much. I kinda think he’s happy where he’s at since he can do mma this way


Didn’t they say on one of the lambert promos that sky just signed a 5 year extension? I’m guessing he’s good


sky doesn't seem like someone who would complain imo


Sky just signed a new 5 year deal. He's literally family, He's never going to leave AEW.


People at this point \*want\* people to be unhappy with how they pull names out of no where. lol


I honestly don’t think Scorpio Sky is probably upset. Dude was 1/3 of the first tag champs, lost the belts in a MOTY candidate, went on a helluva run with SCU afterwards, has had multiple well reviewed matches, and is in a decently big angle right now.


The only thing I can see with Sky is depending on how happy he is teaming with Ethan after it looked like he was going to be pushed as a singles competitor after winning the ladder match at Revolution.


I don't have a problem with mid-level guys thinking they should be in the main events and then *working hard and performing to try and achieve that*. It'll be different if there's any kind of feeling of being "held back" or whatever.


Feeling held back typically happens once those mid-level guys work hard only to not achieve it. I think people might start feeling that way once Hangman wins the title and the Elite move down the card temporarily. There will be new guys elevated and inevitably someone is going to get shafted.


What happens if they keep working hard to grab the brass ring, if you will, but still don't get the push they think they deserve? It's ok for people to be upset, even if the cause is seemingly justified.


Especially when you see guys from “the other company” constantly coming in and taking spots. No disrespect to AEW for this because I understand. The talent coming over is some of the best talent in the world but for guys that may have been in AEW since the beginning and working their ass off it’s gotta be annoying seeing them just coming in and seemingly taking a spot you’ve already been working towards.


A problem is, imo, a lot of main event time is given to lower card performers. QT Marshall, The Nightmare Family, The Nightmare Family and The Gunn Club are constantly given spots and segments on Dynamite and PPV's. I guarantee you absolutely no one wants to watch these people. So, I feel that it's not just about 'being stacked' as it is using the right talent.


While I don't care for their segments, I can understand why they do that if he need a few high profile heels to get slaughtered by the stars. Right now, Black is running through the Nightmare Family like they're made of tissue paper and I don't think it would work quite as well if we didn't have them on TV every other week or so.


That's why I can't see AEW making a push for the likes of Bray. Bringing him in just means another big contract and annoying AEW Upper mid talent.


It'll be interesting to see the long term wisdom in slapping Big Show with a Big Deal.






for real, him getting big deal is such a weird idea


its much more about what his name can do for the brand then it is about making him an in ring centerpiece.


I somehow doubt his name is giving them much of a rub when he's mostly kept on Youtube...


Jericho said this on his podcast, but the basic idea is that you need guys like Paul Wight to get a TV deal in places like India. Mainstream names just make it easier to secure international TV.


100% agree on this.I have many friends who are lapsed fans so I make sure to mention all the big guns from WWE like Moxley,Show, Christian,Punk. Signing big names gives a huge buzz. Even people who don't watch wrestling are aware of Punk's return. That does speak something.


This is it. I was texting my gf about being at AEW Dynamite in Milwaukee. She was thinking I was at some glorified high school gym until I said the Big Show just came out. THAT was what made it click that there's a new competitor out there. I didn't get why they signed him but now I figured it out. It's not about what they're doing on the show. It's the legitimacy they bring to the brand.


One thing that I notice is that Paul does a over a million views constantly on YouTube clips while Omega or Christian Cage does less than that.


Big Show was wrestling Rock and Austin. All the people who watched them know Big Show. Wrestling used to be very mainstream, when I was a kid, I never had to explain who a wrestler was. If I said the Undertaker, absolutely everyone knows exactly who I was talking about. Wrestlers used to be celebrities.


It does seem like a bizarre deal but videos of his segments do really well on YouTube, so maybe there's a method to the madness Having a 'big' former WWE guy to draw in lapsed/older fans isn't a terrible idea, although I'm not sure if there's a market that he could reach that Punk/Jericho/Danielson etc couldn't


Big show is bigger than people here think. There is a reason he did stuff outside of wwe, he has more mainstream appeal than most wrestlers


He's SO big, I have no idea how anyone is going to be able to get him over the top rope


How much does this guy weigh?!


Always love an Art Donovan reference.


"He looks like a businessman!"


“Is that how he’s gonna wrestle?…with his clothes on?”


Can of coke to ya


Could you imagine how stupid AEW would be to put him in a Battle Royal? It would break Vegas if he was somehow tossed out.


Honestly purely name/face recognition wise, Big Show might be top 5 active wrestlers in the world. It's a bit tougher since he's going by another name, but basically everyone knows who "Big Show" is, wrestling fan or not Jericho and Punk are probably the only ones on the roster anywhere near as well known


I feel a little like he may have been a dam-buster as well. Once he jumped, it likely made a lot more deals easier to find.


Feels like him and Christian really are the "vouch for AEW" guys that make it easier for others to take the leap


They had to make all the door frames larger for him so talent aren't worried about coming in as much anymore


Yeah, but doesn’t AEW already have a bunch of older names to draw in lapsed fans? By the time they signed Big Show, they already had Jericho, Sting, Matt Hardy, and were working on Christian Cage, in addition to having a slew of legendary names serving as managers like Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Diamond Dallas Page, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and others. How many do they need? Is Big Show really worth a “big” deal at age 49 after decades of injuries and surgeries, including a surgically repaired hip?


He’s a “big man” with like 30 years of top-level wrestling experience. Idk the exact specifics of the deal, but having him even as a mentor to AEW hosses is valuable.


People seem to gloss over the fact that Big Show mentored Strowman and turned him into a main eventer. Any big man that is brought into AEW immediately benefits from this level of mentorship.


I can't help but feel (and maybe it's because I'm one of them) that there are a lot of people who lapsed just before the Punk/Danielson days. Jericho is a decent get, but he's a shadow of the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla he once was, while still being great, don't get me wrong. Paul Wight brings arguably as much now to the ring as he ever did, and he's a recognisable face. he had a TV show, he's shown up on D&D podcasts, Video Game demonstrations (He's a big Destiny fan). When it comes to broad mainstream appeal, there aren't many bigger that Big Paul that AEW have got so far. Hell, I'd personally argue he's the biggest for actual mainstream appeal.


There's a reason putting the title on Jericho first was a no brainer, legitimacy and mainstream appeal, I can't even imagine them doing the same for Big Show, let's be real. AEW would have been a laughing stock. Big Show would have infinite go away heat if he was wrestling every second week. Him and Mark Henry are just dudes that will get overpaid whatever they do. I think both are good to have backstage don't get me wrong, maybe Mark Henry in particular.


Mark Henry is paid to recruit talent to the company, from places outside indie wrestling, like Jade Cargill.


Yeah, and Jericho was by far the best choice to actually open an American wrestling company with. They've done that now, and I'd imagine anyone likely to turn up for old Y2J has done so and either stuck around or not. So to expand, they need to hit other markets. No one is tuning in to see Wight put on a 20 minute classic. But seeing the giant man hurl tiny athletic people around with hilarious results? That's always good for a hoot. And maybe one of those tiny people will hit that underdog spot of our hearts. If nothing else, it makes a good YouTube snippet, and that's basically what advertising comes down to lately.


It’s a little crazy that Jericho has been as good as he is for decades and *just now* he’s officially been *the* guy. Even when he was undisputed champion in WWE he wasn’t this important.


He was basically always *near* the guy to be fair, he was just far too good at making his opponents look good. You'd be hard pressed to label Jericho as someone who was misused at any point. Whether that is because he was used well or just made practically anything thrown his way look good is up for debate of course.


> You'd be hard pressed to label Jericho as someone who was misused at any point. That was a fairly common view of his first years in WWF. It was a big part of one of his books, so he presumably agrees.


Jericho Mox and Omega, and the way they've booked and treated their titles, gave a lot of legitimacy to the AEW belt quick. Even the TNT belt is prestigious.


that's the thing, there's a whole section of wrestling fans that still love Paul Wight. Me included, I was big time into WCW back in the day so I'm still watching The Giant ya know? Jericho, same deal, still watch that guy because he was great back in WCW and here he is still being awesome. Plus lets be real here.... Paul is just fun! He's the perfect Goliath for a David vs Goliath scenario, which will only help the smaller guy get over if he isn't already, and Paul loses nothing by taking an L


Paul is a great dude, but I don't want to see him wrestle anymore.


For me, it's troubling looking at his knees. It seems like any minute he spends in a ring he's just adding a ton of damage he will come to regret as he gets older. I respect him, he's free to do it, and he got a good deal, but for me it is uncomfortable to watch.


I don't have any particular desire to see him work a regular program, but I like him as the mostly-retired announcer who can still throw hands if push comes to shove. Edit: Also, I still want the Shaq match. Will it probably be slow, sloppy, and the objectively worst match of the night regardless of the rest of the card? Yep. But I still want to see it just for the spectacle of it all.


I think you could make it work. Maybe a 1v1 stadium stampede that's just two big guys godzilla-ing daily's place. Putting each other through walls n shit.


Build a tiny model stadium and let them wrestle in it


Have them wrestle in a model city and make it a higher budget take on Kaiju Big Battel


Get TNT onboard to show Pacific Rim or something after the show, make it a whole Kaiju night. Hell, have this match on Rampage, and theme it after the old Rampage video games.


This is the fight I didn't know I needed.


Oh, I’m mad at you for making me want this.


Not like he really does anymore.... like if you need a 7ft dude to come in and squash qt Marshall with a chokeslam during a long ass PPV so that everyone can get up and stretch their legs / go to the bathroom then sure, let my dude do his thing.


If we don't get a Paul/Marko Stunt team up, what are we even doing here?


If we don't get a Paul/Marko Stunt feud, what are we even doing here? FTFY


Yeah Paul and Marko teams up then Marko betrays Paul and then he blames it on "All You People" before cutting a scathing 15 minute promo which cuts Paul Wright And The Jurassic Express into tears. Which leads to Jurassic Express leaving Marko Stunt and then that leads to Marko Stunt Vs Paul Wright on an episode of AEW Dark.


Wight. It's Wight.


That match was good for what it was, to be honest.


If its in stuff like beating the shit out of QT Marshall then I'm fine with it.


Add Paul vs QT to every PPV, regardless of if there's a story reason for it, just because QT getting slammed is funny.


It should be a weekly segment on every show. Just Paul slams QT into something and then leaves.


Make it the new Lana table story. Same thing every week no matter how hard he tries to avoid it.


Finally, a recurring QT segment I can get behind!


Lean right into it being the bathroom break. Put it right before the main event every single time. Wight vs Marshall could be the new Globetrotters vs Generals!


If it physically pains **me** watching someone else *walk*, then this person should not be anywhere near a ring anymore.


My wife fucking loves him and Mark Henry. She's waiting for them to team up and go on a tear through AEW. I do tell her that it's not very likely to happen, doesn't kill her dream tho.


I would watch Paul and Mark team up and beat the fuck outta the lower card and watch them slowly get their come uppance. That'd be dope!


I'd be ok with them destroying the bucks.


My wife also hates the Bucks, so she's right there with you.


I had a dream about Mark Henry last night. I dreamt I was singing Ezekiel Jackson's theme and he was sitting down at a bench reading a book.


I doubt either him or Henry are worth what they're being paid. And of the two, Henry seems to be finding his own niche better.


That's enough talk, it's time for the main event




Henry as a behind the scenes guy is a long term investment that I think will pay off. The dude has a great track record as a talent scout for WWE.


Him doing the interviews before the main event of rampage was a fantastic idea


He just seems super stoked to get his full thought out, then someone uses it as a prompt for a few good lines. Like, he genuinely has a huge smile while doing it.


When I hear the main event of Rampage now, I always look forward to that interview. For a short, wrestling heavy TV show, it's a pretty good showcase, especially when you have 2 young guys/girls in the main event.


And honestly his commentary has improved each week as well.


The interview is great. The commentary is still rough. Admittedly, when he talks it's not *bad*, but his slower speech cadence combined with the overstuffed 4-man booth means that he maybe gets one or two comments in per match.


Henry is a good recruiter and has connections to the sports world its how Giannis appeared for Rampage


Of the two I'd take Mark Henry as well. The guy is a great brand ambassador.


And, let's be real for a moment, he's a prominent black face in a company which currently really lacks a top level babyface who happens to be black. With Fenix, Penta, Andrade and Santana & Ortiz, their latino representation is in a good spot, plus they have lots of young, talented black wrestlers under contract. But not a single one of them is a midcard-or-higher level face right now. There's a reason Mark Henry was on some posters for All Out although he's not an active in-ring talent.


Four quarterly specials? Are these different to current special episodes of Dynamite?


Yup - Saturday Night's Main Event/Clash of the Champions style specials on TNT (after they move to TBS).


I believe the idea is that those specials will run on Saturday nights along with rampage and dynamite


Yeah. I read that they'll be like the old WCW Clash of the Champions TV specials. I don't know if you were watching back then but, those were basically 2 hour PPV quality shows that aired on TV.


I LOVED clash of the champions specials as a kid.


Yeah they'll be like mini PPVs in addition to that weeks dynamite, really excited for them


They've picked up a few people that I don't think they need to keep. If Brian Cage left nothing would change for example. He's a good talent, but they have heaps of good talent. Paul Wight being on a big deal is a questionable one. They don't need him wrestling. Christian Cage is obviously justified - he's in tremendous shape and can still go and the Wingmen were his idea as well, so he's even contributing creatively. I do think it's getting to the time where they need to trim the roster.


I'm not sure why he brought Paul in if it was on a big money deal. The guy's clearly a great person and is a legend within the industry, but his legs are bending inwards and I'm not sure he's really much of a draw on a roster that packed with talent.


When you go to State Farm or Dominos HQ to strike a corporate sponsorship - do u bring some kid thats over? Or a literal giant that most people in the office that dont watch wrestling are at least aware of? Paul wight’s price tag as a 30+ year internationally known veteran is not for his future short matches or his coaching. Its name recognition and adding validity to a fledging company.


You’re absolutely right, but I think the dominos bridge is burnt to a crisp lol


Just like my last pizza ordered from them.


I grew up poor so I ate pizza at most two times a year so to me there’s no such thing as bad pizza


Jericho has talked about how useful it is to tell an executive that hasnt watched wrestling in years, we have big show. While big show may not be the greatest on screen talent, apparently just having his name is a big help when making deals, along with other legends.


“Weeeeeelllllllll we have Big Show.”


Wow that's interesting. Thanks! It's kinda weird to think that of the big AE names, only Jericho and Paul Wight are still actively (or semi-actively) competing. Unless you include Goldberg, or assume that HHH isn't done after heart surgery. I don't think I've forgotten anyone. Edit: I forgot people


Dustin Rhodes


Billy Gunn too


Both of the Hardys, Edge and Christian just came back. Different companies, but Dreamer and Sting were around then to


Similar thing when TNA signed Hogan. Regardless of what people think of that era he allowed them to get tv deals in certain countries purely because TNA could say it had Hulk Hogan on their roster.


Big Show was used by WWE as the guy that would take every big dude under his wing basically. He's a good mentor and has some positive influence as a veteran backstage. Securing his name for the video game is icing on the cake too. He may or may not be worth it in the long run but I can definitely see the logic in picking him up and locking him down for a bit.


>If Brian Cage left nothing would change for example. That's not true in the slightest, if Brian Cage left then Team Taz could move on to something interesting and worthwhile


They're facing Punk.




According to Jericho Wight helped them get India tv deal. Him joining with Christian and Sting helped make it happen. But yes Wight going to be used in the ring more. Reason He's getting paid so much is for everything he brings to the table. He's announcer, coach, works with community and promote the company in the media. He was all over tv for Brewers game when they were in Milwaukee. He was all over tv promoting AEW at the Cubs game last week. So that's large amount of his deal. While yes he's going to wrestle and be used as attraction. Squashing people like QT or Jobbers, tagging with Young guy, giant vs giant matches or celebrity match with someone like Shaq and others. He had value in the ring if used right. His matches aren't meant to he 4 or 5 star matches. Tony Khan knew that when he signed him and knew IWC fanbase wouldn't want to see him wrestle a lot. But Tony Khan knows if he wants to grow the company. You can't only cater to that fanbase. So there's happy medium of keeping that fanbase happy. By having a lot of great wrestling all over the show and title scene. While having guy like Wight around who can help bring in different viewers and use him as attraction. Either with fun squashes that people saw Andre do in the 80s. Celebrity matches or using Wight charisma to team with young guy to get him over. Or have Wight put over young talent who they are pushing. So there's a lot you can do with Wight as wrestler. None of it should be near top of the card or around any title scenes. But he has value if used in the right way.


Totally agree. There’s a lot of guys in AEW that could easily be cut and it not really make a dent in the upper echelon or the young core they’re building. Archer, Brian Cage, Jake Hager, Jack Evans (who has looked extremely out of shape and has even said he needs to work on it and just… hasn’t). Those are some of the guys just off the top of my head that don’t really offer anything meaningful and are either older or just a waste of space.


Of those names, I can pretty much agree with all of them except for Archer. I think he can offer quite a bit, essentially the same role as guys like Kane or Abyss did in the past for their respective companies. Quick squashes to get people fired up, giving an up and comer a tough win to raise their value, being a credible challenger for a title with a short build, etc.


Also a key guy for Forbidden Door scenarios. He’s the only AEW guy who is technically still part of his NJPW faction


Jack Evans would be top of my list as well. It feels like he's held back Angelico significantly since they've come in. It doesn't seem like he's as committed as he needs to be. He even wrestles in a t shirt now


His contract is negligible I’m sure, especially when compared to someone like Punk. But it’s those small things that can add up to hurt the bottom line.


This is also why I hope they dont end up signing Ric Flair. He will come at a massive price and honestly what more could he do? Unless they can get him on a per appearance fee if thats cheaper than a full time contract.


I felt like Andrade attacking Chavo was setting up for Flair coming and replacing Chavo


Well...yeah....they don't release anybody and they keep signing people. In their entire existence to this point the only people I know of they've released have been Jimmy Havoc and Bea Priestley




Ivelisse and the Spanish announcer who made fun of Shida. But your point stands. AEW has a thousand people, and only 3 hours of TV time. I have no idea how you keep everyone there happy creatively.




Kylie Rae


You need to invest big money in guys like Punk or Danielson to get better ratings/buyrates/ticket sales/merch sales and then get bigger tv deal. It's pretty obvious.


In the tech world, the start ups making huge losses, amounts unheard of, are raking in huge investments from venture capitalists and big companies. The mad rush is troubling actually.




Its like everywhere... Just read an article about christiano ronaldo and his move to manchester united. There are not much clubs around who can give him this salary but when he arrived he already sold trikots with his name for about 218 mio euro. So every team could give him that big salary if the fans are willing to buy his merch. Same story as cm punk. After he arrived it was instantly the recordholder for sold merch on pw tees.


The vast majority of revenue from kit sales goes to the manufacturer, in this case addidas. Clubs get less than 10% usually if I remember correctly. Having Ronaldo does mean that manufacturers will be willing to pay more to make Utd kits, and sponsors will pay more to be on the kit. However, Utd are right in the middle of a 10 year deal with addidas, and back in March they signed a 5 year deal with a new shirt sponsor, so by the time they negotiate new deals, Ronaldo will be gone.


United already made back 13 million from the 7% cut. According to bbc.


Tony said [Punk has already paid for himself](https://www.thesportster.com/aew/tony-khan-says-cm-punk-paid-for-himself-aew-revenue/). It's pretty smart business. Let WWE keep doing their thing and losing the 18-49 demo, then when it comes time to negotiate new TV deals, boom, you've got the demo, the talent and (hopefully) the wider audience. AEW's obviously being run at a loss to begin with. The majority of new businesses are - and that's why you need a billionaire to fund it. If their entire talent roster costs them $70m a year (just a guess) - that's a drop in the ocean for someone like him. But TV networks fucking love wrestling. It's why Vince is making more money than ever with fewer viewers (and a dubious product). If Tony can get a bigger slice of that pie, there's a huge amount of profit to be had.


Some interesting quotes in that article. Does he not think they’d have sold out the venue for Rampage without Punk?


I don't think they would have booked the United Center, especially since the PPV was in a smaller venue.


I don't think they would have sold out for just a regular Rampage without Punk especially on a couple of weeks notice when you have All Out week a couple of weeks later in the same city. A special Dynamite like Grand Slam probably could have though with proper promotion.


I’m pretty sure they booked that venue specifically because of Punk. They didn’t announce it nor did they start selling tickets until it was only about 3 weeks in advance.


I don't think they even try to book that venue without Punk


I think you'd have to ask Tony himself on that one. But there's no way it'd have sold out as quickly. I mean it's the return of CM Punk in front of a hometown crowd. Probably the best moment in wrestling this century.


He said he wasn’t being literal in the sense of they’d already made back the cost of his contract


Yeah, if they went the route of not signing big names there's no way they would've kept on going and interesting more people It's at an heavy cost for them but fundamental to grow the company. If the loss was expected for a few years and they don't overspend and manage to have a steady growth of viewership and better deals/sponsor, then it's fine You can't become a heavy concurrent to a very established company in 2 years without taking risks


I think they’ve said they expected to operate at a loss for like 5 years, but started turning a profit at a year and a half. They’re probably in a good position to overspend a bit with an eye on growth, but I do hope they avoid the late WCW error of overpaying wildly and tanking the company.


I can't speak to AEW, but WCW didn't have a contract size problem per se. Their contracts were fine in 1998 because they had viewers and fans, they only became thought of as overpaying because in 2000 they lost all the eyeballs. (I say only because I've recently been reading coverage of the time period) If WCW had everyone wrestle for free in 2000 they still would have lost $20 million, and while that's better than $60 million, it shows the problem was revenue more than expenditure, since they didn't increase pay or anything in that period


They would have to sign about ten more over the hill wrestlers to massive contracts to get anywhere close to a late stage WCW situation. Plus, the fact WCW built its main event scene around aging stars who were mostly terrible in the ring was arguably the biggest factor in their demise. The established stars over 40 AEW is using in its main event scene can still go and aren’t crowding out the up and comers and guys in their prime. And the older stars with limited abilities (Sting, Paul Wight, Mark Henry) are being used in niche rolls.


Video game sales, too. That game’s roster is going to be crazy. Especially if they put in “legends” like arn, Tully, malenko, Jerry Lynn, etc


At some point AEW will likely let contacts expire or allow unsatisfied talents to leave. Maybe WWE is still a draw to some and if they came calling, we'd see a few make a switch. We've all heard how happy and positive the locker room is but it's unrealistic to expect 100 people to be perfectly happy with their position. But I doubt there is anything too sinister or concerning afoot here. The Khans are business people and they aren't going to spend what they don't think they will recoup. If costs are - or become - too high there will be decisions made.


Honestly, I could see some people in the midcard being like “well if I’m midcard here and midcard there, does it really matter which company I’m at?”


"At least if I'm in the midcard there, I can have a match at WrestleMania"


What Dave is more or less saying, AEW is fine if Tony Khan is willing to underwrite it. Cornette has said this as well.


I think Khan's said he expects AEW to be profitable in 5 years, but I wonder what that'll take with all these signings? I suppose they're hoping the next television deal will be much bigger and/or they'll end up on a streaming service.


I can't believe they still aren't on HBO max, I thought it would be a sure thing after they started doing promotional things for the movies coming to it like space jam and Godzilla vs Kong


Yup. With all these streaming services fighting for every scrap of content they can find, I'm surprised ~~NBCU~~ Warner haven't offered to put AEW's tape library and move the Youtube shows to HBO Max. They gotta expand to more countries first though...


NBCU is with WWE and Peacock... Warner Media is with AEW and HBO Max.


I think putting the Youtube shows exclusively on HBO Max would be a big mistake.


I assume we'll also see certain contracts expire and not get picked up again or get restructured.


The thing is Khan has so much money he can go all right right away with calculated risk. If you look at the ratings bump these big signings got there’s no way it’s not worth it long term. Things like video games, action figures, tickets and a renewed TV deal will easily help grow the brand and allow these to be more affordable. It’s not like he’s going to be massively overpaying these people


I think he was joking but he said that he was already making money from the Punk signing from his first night. PWTees crashed and it was only merch so I guess it’s a good sign.


I understand paying huge money to top guys like punk, Danielson. But why Paul? I understand he is recognisable to general audience but I don't think people are tuning in to see hom wrestle. Also we haven't heard much about his impact behind the scene like Marke Henry


It depends on how they use him, but I figure it is because of how well known he is. Most lapsed wrestling fans from the past 25 years would be familiar with the Big Show, and he would be a good representative to put on things like Good Morning America telling people to check out AEW. He is also a serviceable commentator, part-time wrestler and would be pretty handy to have backstage. Only Tony can say for sure whether he is worth the money or not.


I think back in February he seemed like an ok signing because he can help bring awareness to the company, but since then with Christian, Punk, Danielson, Cole and others, he seems far less important and worthwhile.


But apart from name recognition, he doesn't bring much to the table. He can't wrestle anymore. He is meh on commentary. He cannot share his experience much with tall guys because even tall guys nowadays do flips and wrestle way different style. He won't be a good manager since he'll overshadow the talent.


I wonder how much the regular talents is getting paid. Sometimes on social media, you see glimpses of their appartements and the majority of folks seem to be living in rather regular appartements or with roommates. I’m sure a lot of them are being careful because wrestling is a short lived career, but it’s always surprising


Frugality is common in wrestling. Moxley famously would split cheap hotel rooms with other wrestlers even as WWE Champion when he was making millions. Every veteran will tell you that it's not about how much you make, but how much you save. Each time you go to work, you're one freak accident away from permanently losing your income.


For better or worse, it takes money to make money.


Time for any wrestler the internet doesn’t like to be cut from AEW…


>Dave did bring Lance Archer up as an example of someone who has done well in AEW but is not featured week to week as someone who could be of interest. Vince let him go years ago and he is older but WWE seem to no longer be opposed to signing and using older talent. If anything, I think Brian Cage is the one that is most suited to switch to WWE. He has the look and doesn't seem to express a desire to work in any particular place. Archer, however, enjoys working with NJPW and it's debatable whether he'd want to go from winning US Heavyweight Championships and working with the likes of Moxley to getting a goofy new name and chasing the 24/7 Title.


Brian Cage can't pass a drug test to save his life and it'd be hard to disguise his height among WWE's new hiring practices. I think AEW doesn't offer him a new deal when his contract's up though.


I think AEW will offer him a deal, but it won't be a raise or main eventer money. As soon as he left Team Taz, he became a nobody. I hope he navigate his way in the waters as a singles competitor, but he's easily overshadowed by so many others right now.


Lance Archer's like 44 and NJPW are clearly pretty high on him as a monster gaijin. He's also one of the few people to beat Mox in AEW. Dude's doing great where is!


Yeah he's a strange one for Meltzer to pick out as possibly being underutilised. He beat Moxley for a title in the main event not long ago.


He brought him up because he's definitely been lost in the mix lately. The only thing he's done as of late is come out to attack Dan Lambert. Before that he had a thing of interrupting a couple of Sting promos that ultimately didnt lead to anything. I can't even recall what his last major feud was in aew


Archer sure as hell wouldn't be called the Murderhawk Monster if he switched over lol


Lance Archer said on the Brodie lee memorial post show on YouTube that there's no other place he'd rather work state side.. because he's so proud to be in aew


I think people forget that Lance Archer is no spring chicken, the dude is 44 years old and in the twilight of his career. I love Lance Archer, but I think most anyone at that age would be more than happy if they were being used as Lance Archer is being used.


Also he said he consider New Japan a home too and once the quarantine are ease up in Japan he would love to go back


It may be unsustainable in its current form, but when that next TV deal come up is when they reap the rewards. The old rule of business is you don’t expect to make a profit the first couple years. AEW did better than hardly anybody expected, and while TK may be eating a big loss for a bit, he’s built a successful company and the real money comes later when they can go to TV companies and say “look at these numbers!” instead of their first deal where they said “uhhhh we want to have a wrestling TV show.” By then they’ll also have built up a library that will be attractive to streaming services where they can grab even more money. For someone with the Khans’ wealth, they can afford to build a successful company first and let the profits come later.


Those are very obvious things. You need to spend money to expand your growth and in the process of expanding and hiring new recruits someone who is currently employed may get insecure. AEW is in the process of customer acquisition now. It's up to the company's culture how they handle it smoothly. Every company has disgruntled employee at some point or another. Most of the startup barely last for few months and atmost a year, AEW has managed to get to 2 years now, their next 3 years will be very interesting both from business and wrestling POV.


How long till the next tv deal? If all these guys are still signed when it comes around I don't think it'll be an issue. And guys like Punk and Bryan probably get close to paying for themselves from merch. Paul being big money is questionable but I'm sure they have their reasons. They have to invest money to be competitive. I'm sure Dave himself has said in the past how much money he thinks you'd need behind you to successfully be a player and it's in the tens of millions. I'm sure TK is far more aware of what the budget of the company is and how long they're prepared to be in the red than any random industry commentator is. This isn't Bischoff WCW and it it sure af isn't Dixie Carter TNA. It's almost preposterous "those in the industry" are talking about the running costs. They have zero idea what the financial limitations of AEW are. The co-owner of the company is worth $8bil. He could theoretically buy WWE if it went up for sale.


Surely Tony Khan knows what he’s doing though and ultimately they are spending and building towards a significant rise in the next TV deal


Exactly, you spend money to make money. If the TV rights came up today they are in prime position for a huge rise, they may be in an even better position in 2 years. He went into this knowing short term it would run at a loss but in 10 years at the current growth rate the money could be huge.


Their Rights are due in 2 years, they assumably have Danielson and Punk locked up beyond 2023 Assuming they stay right where they are the 1.1 range, they most likely are able to command 100-150 Million a year and suddenly Punk and Danielson's contracts are steals


Brian Cage might look like an action figure but he has negative charisma and can't cut a promo. I'm not surprised he's been sidelined by all the new faces.


>Dave says Punk (Punk is the most expensive), No suprise there >Paul Wight etc are on big deals What a waste. I like Paul Wight, I understand he is a recognised name and person for casuals. But big money for him? Not really worth it. Atleast mark Henry is a proven scout and could probably still work a match. >there are those in the industry who think they are spending themselves into trouble Hopefully they end up wrong. I'd hate for something bad to happen, I enjoy watching this company id be a bit lost without them lol. >In relation to the comments by Brian Cage, Dave says everyone at the mid-level and up thinks they belong in the main event. While WWE want to get AEW guys to stop the narrative about talent all going one way, realistically most of their current and up-and-coming stars know they will not be used right there and have a lot less creative freedom. Brian cage isn't a main eventer in aew. He isn't good enough to be there now and he isn't young enough to be there eventually. He's a perfect mid are guy, has a cool look and really good wrestler but yeah, I wouldn't mind if he went to wwe personally. I have always felt he would be the first to switch from aew.


Conventional wisdom around Cage for years, even predating AEW, has always been that he'd never pass a WWE piss test. Also the stuff about him not really being charismatic enough for WWE TV.


Also, because he has said it himself. He would have to make drastic changes in his lifestyles or WWE would have to start looking the other way for someone they have no real prior relationship with.


>What a waste. I like Paul Wight, I understand he is a recognised name and person for casuals. But big money for him? Not really worth it. Atleast mark Henry is a proven scout and could probably still work a match Big show literally got them the India TV deal, per jericho


Punk Danielson and Cage I would say are worth it, but what the fuck is TK doing spending huge money on fucking Paul Wight


Funny how the first report about payroll comes up and all of a sudden its “cool” to now list who you want in the u/e line….